12 July 2021
Social enterprise, Franklin Women, is proud to announce their 2021 Academic Partnerships with eleven leading organisations in the field of health and medical research.
Together with these eleven Academic Partners, Franklin Women is building on their success in supporting women’s retention and participation in health and medical research careers. This is a workforce that has been critical to Australia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, yet it’s one whose expertise is not being fully utilised given the ongoing loss of highly trained women from the sector.
While more women enter health science-related degrees than men, women are significantly underrepresented in senior positions in the health and medical research sector, and those who remain face barriers to their participation. This gender inequity has been exacerbated by the pandemic as captured in the Australian Academy of Science new report on the Impact of COVID-19 on women in the STEM workforce. The report highlights the role of workplaces in minimising the challenges women face.
“Girls and young women are already interested in pursuing health and health research related careers”, says Franklin Women Founder Dr Melina Georgousakis. “Where we need to focus our attention is in making sure they enter a professional environment where they can thrive, at each stage of their career journey.”
By partnering with Franklin Women these eleven Academic Partner organisations are investing in the development of their female staff and students, prioritising gender equity, and taking action to remove systemic barriers to achieving diverse and inclusive workplaces.
“We’re proud to be an active Academic Partner of Franklin Women” says Mathew Vadas, Executive Director of the Centenary Institute. “We see Franklin Women as a powerful organisation in propagating evidence, debate and fellowship in ensuring the full potential of women is realised and actuated in all fields of endeavour. This partnership has been very important in helping our Institute striving to reach its full potential.”
The University of Canberra’s Faculty of Health and Faculty of Science and Technology are delighted to join Franklin Women as Academic Partners for 2021 – both faculties are led by women.
“I have personally seen that when women engage with Franklin Women and all it has to offer, they find a place to talk about their challenges, celebrate their successes and be comfortable with who they are and what they bring to the fields of science, technology and health,” said Professor Michelle Lincoln, Executive Dean, Faculty of Health.
“As a woman in STEM, I know what a difference it can make when you feel part of a supportive community and I’m looking forward to seeing our staff and students benefit from all that the Franklin Women community has to offer,” said Professor Janine Deakin, Executive Dean, Faculty of Science and Technology.
“The fact that our Academic Partnerships have grown in 2021 tells me that leading organisations in the sector recognise the unique challenges experienced by women and the value that comes from retaining their contributions to improving health of the community,” says Dr Georgousakis.
“There is great strength and opportunity that comes from bringing together organisations with a shared vision and who want to drive change together – collectively our impact will be greater than what any of us could achieve on our own.”
Franklin Women is Australia’s only professional community bringing together people across the health and medical ecosystem to invest in the careers of women. With 10 000 members, partners and supporters, Franklin Women is shaping the professional pathways of women by providing networking opportunities, professional development and training in important skills outside of technical science, as well as advocating for initiatives that address barriers faced by women in health and medical research careers.
Franklin Women Academic Partners in alphabetical order: Centenary Institute, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, George Institute of Global Health, Kolling Institute, Monash University Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, St Vincent’s Centre for Applied Medical Research, Sydney Local Health District, University of Canberra Faculty of Health, University of Canberra Faculty of Science and Technology, University of New South Wales Faculty of Medicine and University of Sydney Faculty of Medicine and Health.